- -Because I’ve Been Here Before!
On Sunday this week, I posted my blog with the challenging question: Will You Survive the Collapse? It is not uncommon, after sending words like that into the ethers that people ask me, “How can you claim to know this? How do you know?” The unscientific response is, “I just know.” But there is also a response based in science – specifically the science of applied knowledge gained through experience: I’ve been here before.
Now, I’m not talking about some whoo-whoo past life memory. I’m talking about experiences I’ve had in this life. The experience is this: nearly every single company/institution I worked for, or with, went through some sort of cataclysmic change. Indeed, with this, you might call me the harbinger of doom. But really, their collapse was not my fault. I just happened to be there to witness it’s unfolding and the resulting collapse. I was also there to be hospice to the dying and to remain, as long as I could stand it, as some other form was trying to be born.
It happened waaaayyyy back in the day when I worked for AT&T. It happened when I worked for St. Mary Resort in Glacier Park, Montana. It happened with a local company who went through a massive downsizing. It happened during my employment with the Catholic Church – not once, but five times, not including the cataclysmic change that happened under the reign of Joseph Ratzinger (aka Pope Benedict XVI). And it happened with the University where I did my graduate studies.
In every situation, the pattern was the same:
A time of great hope and expansion struck fear in the hearts of those ill-prepared for change, which then inspired a longing for the nostalgia of some idealized past, quickly followed by a dramatic pulling back that ultimately led to the death of what had been known.
Each. And. Every. Time.
This is exactly what is happening in our culture today – only on a much larger scale. Not everyone sees this, as it requires Eagle Vision to see how we have come to this…and where we are likely headed. Fortunately, Eagle Vision is one of my gifts.
We have experienced profound and dramatic changes in our culture – just in my lifetime:
- Manufacturing has been replaced by information and technology.
- Our definition of family and the family web has profoundly changed.
- Our cultural awareness of diversity has greatly expanded.
- We have become more mobile and our communication is now global.
- Our economy has shifted from local to national and now global.
- We have access to more information than any generation previous to ours.
As these expansions are happening, we are also finding that we can no longer trust those institutions we used to rely on for guidance and support. This includes the many institutions, with whom we used to place our trust, who are now in the midst of their own collapse:
- Banking and Finance
- The Military
- The Economy
With all of this expansion, and the dramatic change that is accompanying this expansion, those ill-equipped or uncomfortable with change, have pulled back. They are retreating into the nostalgia of some idealized past where everyone was “happy, safe, housed and fed” – a past that has existed only in their imagination. With this, we are witnessing an upsurge in ‘isms – sexism, racism, orientationism, nationalism, beliefism, etc. etc. etc. Instead of taking responsibility for the anxiety being experienced in the face of change, fingers are being pointed and entire populations scapegoated as the “enemy.”
All of this is how I know where we are headed. I have been here before. I also know what it takes to survive and move through cataclysmic change as I have accompanied hundreds through similar change.
- Be honest. Acknowledge the death that is happening and the fear that accompanies death.
- Be hospice to the dying. Support people in acknowledging their fear and the grief that is arising in the face of the loss. Provide them with support in moving through the fears and the accompanying faces of grief (shock, denial, bargaining, depression, anger, sorrow). In being hospice, DO NOT INSULT those who are grieving with frivolous distractions (for example, the “joy in the workplace” initiative recently launched by the administration of an institution who shall not be named which is facing its own collapse. “Scared that your job might be eliminated? Join us at noon and learn how to make a potholder.” WHAT!?) Instead, be with them WHEREVER they are in their grieving process. (PS Institution who shall not be named. I’m still here offering my services in change and grief management because from what I can see and what I’m hearing from your employees, clearly, “you don’t got this!”)
- Give them something to hope in. With every death comes the promise of new life – for those who have the courage to believe and the willingness to see the glimpses of the new life that is arising out of the ash of the old. Point out those glimmers of new life and encourage others to support that new life.
The demise of what we have known is already happening and will soon be accelerating. I know this because I have been here before. If I am proved wrong, I will be the first to admit I was wrong and shout hurray at the glorious revival of western culture. In the meantime, I’m here if you want to talk about your fears, process your grief, and gather the support which will help you move through the death to the new life that will, indeed happen, and is already happening.
Lauri Ann Lumby holds a Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Psychology and is a trained Spiritual Counselor and Educator. She is available for one-on-one sessions and has created a wide variety of online courses to help support you through the death of the old world and the birthing of the new. Call (920) 230-1313 to schedule an appointment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.